Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A yeshiva bachur comments about public discussions of sexuality

Guest post by a Yeshiva Bachur

Relevant to whether these sorts of topics should be discussed publically is the following medrash rabba. 

It's in parshas tazria יט:ג

‎ר' שמואל בר יצחק פתר קריא בפרשיותיה של תורה אע"פ שנראות כאילו הן כעורות ושחורות לאומרן ברבים כגון הלכות זיבה ונגעים נדה ויולדת אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא הרי הן עריבות עלי שנאמר (מלאכי ג) וערבה לה' מנחת יהודה וירושלים וגו' תדע לך שהוא כן שהרי פרשת זב וזבה לא נאמרו כאחת אלא זו בפני עצמה וזו בפ"ע איש איש כי יהיה זב מבשרו ואשה כי יזוב זוב דמה וגו':

This seems to clearly be saying that the attitude of hush hush that we usually have towards these types of "untzniyus" halachos is in fact wrong and just the opposite hashem finds our learning of them most pleasing. So much so that instead of having them all together in the torah he split them up so they'd get "maximum exposure". This reminds me of the gemaras in brachos that say similarly תורה היא וללמוד אני צורך.

So whether or not the a blog is an appropriate place for discussion of these types of issues is a question to debate, but the reaction of some people that these things should only be learnt privately or one on one or with a rav/chassan teacher etc. does not seem to be the approach of chazal.

(Full disclosure I myself am a bachur in yeshiva, but while we wouldn't regularly come across such explicit stuff like what you posted anyone who learns mishnah berurah will eventually get to siman reish mem and anyone who learns Gemara will learn many similar gemaras like the one in shabbos which is probably more explicit than what you posted. And this is besides for what one picks up from just growing up in today's world unless you live in an extremely sheltered community but even there I can tell you many times the parents and rebbeim are living in denial about what their children know. The point is that today if everywhere around we are exposed to these things but when it comes to Torah we suppress them and refuse to talk it sends very bad signals to talmidim. My rebbeim never shied away from discussing these things with us and and one rebbe who I am very close with once told a group of first year bachurim when discussing a similar topic this exact idea."

And I can tell you from personal experience from learning with younger bachurim still in mesivta that not having rebbeim that will talk about these topics with them can have negative consequences.)

Kol tuv and zai gezunt

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